Responding to new rules banning the sale of alcohol in pubs and restaurants in Wales from tomorrow (4 December), Darby said the latest restrictions were “insulting” and a “huge slap in the face” for the sector.
Already facing costs of £1.6m on the back of the earlier firebreak lockdown in Wales, Darby described the alcohol rules as a “closure by stealth” and called on politicians to “stop changing their mind” on what is required.
“It’s hugely frustrating and a bit insulting,” he said. “It says people are not making the effort being asked of them.
“The sector has done more than its fair share to ensure those potential deaths are avoided.
“And at the end of this, we will be asking, if lives aren’t saved, what the answer will be?”
During the closure, the majority of Brains’ 1,500 staff will be put on furlough.
Announcing the new rules earlier this week, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said that firms hit by restrictions would be offered £340m in support, which he claimed was “the most generous package of financial assistance anywhere in the UK.”
The decision is due for review on 17 December.